Sustainable Gardening in Limited Space Knowing More about Pot Culture
“Do me a favor,” you are going to say, “what do I need to know all about pot culture? I am an experienced gardener, and I know how to move one plant from one container to another. What other tips and techniques can you teach me about potting, containers, and other information about pots?”
Well, my friend, this book is going to tell you all about how you can cultivate all kinds of plants or even the choicer kinds of plants, as well as grow seeds in pots. Along with that, you are going to learn more about pot maintenance, and make sure that you have these containers in which you have invested so much money lasting you a long, long time.
Along with this, you are going to get tips about drainage, the best organic soil, and even a little bit of information on seed sowing.
Remember that plants may be propagated in two ways – by seed or by vegetative means such as cuttings, grafts and layers. When we are planting them by seeds, we will have to plant them either straight into the earth, outdoors, or in containers and in pots beforehand whether they can grow up into seedlings. The seedlings are then going to be transplanted into their permanent positions when they have reached a height of about 4 to 5 inches.
This tomato seedling has either been grown from seed in a pot or was grown in a nursery bed somewhere else, and is now being transplanted in its permanent place in a bed outside, in your garden.
Season for Sowing
Getting ready to sow…
Believe it or not, there is a reason why I have decided to write a whole chapter on the best season for sowing. For many of us, this topic in itself is a no-brainer because according to them, everybody knows that there is a time to sow and there is a time to reap. But believe it or not, a large percentage of us do not bother much about the right season for sowing.
Many of the seeds are going to prove valueless from having being sown at the wrong season. Sometimes you may buy some seeds, or decide to open up a seed tin much before it is the right time to sow, just because you are bit impatient.
And then what happens? You have scattered the seeds far and wide, all over the fertile and prepared land. And then you wait and you wait. How come the seeds have not germinated yet? There is a chance they have gone bad, because they have been left exposed to the action of perhaps a dry, hot or very moist, muggy, or humid atmosphere or any sort of atmosphere conducive to low germination energy. That means your crop has failed to germinate.
Seeds that are perfectly good in reality are thus pronounced to be bad, because of your impatience or perhaps ignorance. You have sown them too soon in the season. So you cannot expect them to germinate at the time when you expected them to crop up.
That is the reason why many annuals, especially Larkspur are not going to germinate readily, if at all, until the winter sets in thoroughly and if you sow them earlier, they are going to lie dormant in the soil until the time for germination arrives.
Proper Method of Sowing Seeds
The best method of sowing is of course going to depend on the kind of the seed which has to be sown. The directions for the sowing of the seeds of vegetables and flowers are normally written on the seed packets which you buy in the nurseries. You can also get to the information online or from experienced gardeners in your locality.
In the meanwhile, you can use these general steps in order to get a good percentage of seedlings.
When you are using pots, and of course the best, most rich and nursing soil for sowing the seeds, try this combination. One part leaf mold, one part common garden soil, 1/8 part sand, or very fine gravel. Mix them properly. You may also add some garden compost, and organic fertilizer to this to make it more rich. I like to add some peat.
I do not use perlite, because that is a volcanic product, which may cause you lung problems if the powder is inhaled. This is normally going to happen when you empty out a sack of perlite into a soil mixing tub. The perlite powder flies helter-skelter, and pollutes the air as well as affects your lung, especially a few breathe it in regularly. Have you noticed any of your garden nursery – employee friends coughing their hearts out? Tell them the reason, Watson.
After that, you are going to make a light soil for covering the seeds. This is going to be made of equal parts of coarsely pounded leaf mold and charcoal, if you can get it. If the seeds remain long before they germinate, the charcoal is going to keep the soil from becoming green and sour. This is what normally happens when you water the soil continuously.
The watering of beds and pots in which the seeds are sown, need special care. Where the seeds are very small, the best way is to stand the pot in a dish of water and let the water rise up the soil by capillary action.
An alternative method is to protect the surface of the pot with plenty of fine leaved twigs. This is going to break the force of the descending water drops, especially when you do not have a spout on your watering can.
That is why I would suggest that the water can should have a very fine rose and should be held high in the air when you are watering.
This book has grown you lots of information about seeds and potting plants. Remember that proper drainage, nutritional soil and goods seeds planted in the proper season are going to give you a good germination rate.
I have also given you good drainage suggestions. I have seen pots with drainage holes made around the sides, about an inch from the bottom, instead of one large hole at the bottom, which naturally would have to be covered with a potsherd, pieces of brick and charcoal. Funny, how this idea has not managed to gain popularity with people buying pots, who still look for containers with that large one hole for drainage, when they turn the pot upside down.
Also, if you find yourself with a water- logged pot, because the drainage is not working as efficiently as you wished, just see whether you have placed the pot resting upon the ground or indeed upon any flat surface. How is the water going to pass out from below, when the drainage hole has been blocked by the cement floor of your living room?
In such a case, you just need to lay two bricks side-by-side about three or four inches apart. Place the pot on them with the hole just halfway between. See, you will not have to bother about the drainage, now. You can put a saucer under the hole, if you are worried about the water staining the floor of your room!
Live Long and Prosper!